Book Equivalent # Words:
Title: Author: Isaac Asimov
Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Science fiction
Opening Sentence: His name was Gaal Dornick and he was just a country boy who had never seen Trantor before.
Favourite word / phrase / sentence:
Aimless extension of knowledge, however, which is what I think you really mean by the term curiosity, is merely inefficiency. I am designed to avoid inefficiency.
Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:
Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:
I read this series by Isaac Asimov from the start of school all the way until now, and is still reading it. My dad first suggested me to read this, since it had won the Hugo Award a couple times, but I was reluctant. I have to say, though, that my reluctance was foolish.
More than 20000 years into the future, humans have already populated all over the Milky Way. However, a man named Hari Seldon discovered the shocking truth with a “psychohistory”, in other words foreknowledge , that the galactic empire will perish. He set up two “foundations” on the edge of the Milky Way, hoping that it would help to save humanity with the prediction of his psychohistory. More than 20000 years of history, collapsing within a century. It wasn’t planetary wars, but the tyranny of the king. However, the foundations did survive, and they did just fine. There was something Seldon didn’t take into consideration. He didn’t account for any genetic mutation. About 500 years after the foundation, someone who can mind read, and even alter others’ emotions, invaded the foundation. People called them “Mule” due to how determined he was. He turned enemies to allies without even breaking a sweat, making them loyal to him. However, that was when the second foundation, another group of people who could alter minds, showed up. They battled with Mule, and at the end defeated him.
More time passed. Centuries have passed since Mule, and the Seldon Plan was on track perfectly. A young politician was banished permanently from the planet of the foundation with the excuse of “helping a historian find humans’ origin”. They knew that there was a planet called Earth which people evolved from, but they just didn’t know where. They embarked on an incredible journey to find Earth, travelling to ancient worlds to search for clues. Upon arriving an ancient, mythical world named Gaea, they were forced to land, and realised that the people had special abilities just like Mule, except their mind power were all combined, so it was much stronger than Mule’s. The banished politician had to make a choice that possibly decided the fate of humanity, because according to the people of Gaea, he was the only one who could make that choice because they sensed that he had an unique mind. To choose to continue with the Seldon Plan, to follow the second foundation’s lead, or to let Gaea take over, making every planet like Gaea. At the last second, the politician chose Gaea , because an idea sparked in his head, a reason which would let him choose Gaea. He lost grasp of the idea, however, and was determined to find out what the idea was. He felt somehow that he would find the answer once he found Earth, so the historian and him continued the search. After countless encounters of dangerous situations, they finally found the planet Earth, only to find out that Earth was uninhabitable anymore due to severe radiation. Just as they were about to leave with nothing but disappointment, the protagonist thought about visiting the Earth’s satellite. There, they found the answer – a robot who was over 20000 years old greeted them on moon, explaining everything to them.
Although I am sure that my summary has made the series of Foundation sounded a lot worse that it actually is, I still really encourage everybody to read it. Isaac Asimov kept surprising me on just how much imagination a man from the 20th centuries had. I realised that I can see reference to almost every sci-fi book I read in this book. Since this book was written earlier than all the other sci-fi books I read, I am sure the authors have all read this series and got inspiration from it.